When you come out of the train station, you have to go through the craft market, then cross a bridge. To the left, close to or just under another bridge, you will see the Consettur buses all lined up. If you want to buy your ticket to Machu Picchu, the Consettur office is just on the side of it. The return ticket cost US$14 for adult , US$7 for children, or its equivalent in soles.
You can purchase bus tickets (good up to 3 days in advance) at the bus station right next door. It closes at 8pm. If you do so, you won't have to stand in line to purchase the bus ticket, then stand in line for the bus itself (Most hikers wouldn't mind keeping your place while you purchase bus ticket).
To reach the bus stop from the train station, head away from the station and the market, once you see the open river, and several bridges, just cross the 1st one, make a right, with the river to your right, you'll find yourself walking uphill on a wide smooth vehicle road. Just below the 2nd bridge uphill, you'll find a small office on your left that sells bus tickets (closes at 8pm). If you don't have tickets, in the morning you can get ticket at a small booth right across that office forementioned, (right underneath the 2nd bridge).
This is a note for those travellers who will be buying the tickets in Agua Caliente before boarding the bus.
Note that when you get off the train station walk along the tracks and you will come to a bridge once you pass the bridge make a right up the road and the bus ticket booth will be on your Left hand side.
Remember don't follow the crowd as most people have tiickets and will make a left and board the bus.
I was one of the first people in the first bus but had to walk all the way back to get a ticket.
Below is a picture of the actual bus, near the bridge.
Winter season as you can see not many traveller around.
The bus may takes 20 minutes to reach to the entrance of Machu Picchu.
Wait patienly in the bus and do not act like the monkey as showing in the photo.
When going from Cuzco to Machupicchu you can choose two types of vagons. Taking the "Backpacker" type, you save some money and the differens is how to be served the food on the train.
In the Backpacker type which will cost some dollar less, it was said the we would have to leave our seats and go for our coffe, but nevertheless the 'coffeman' came, so I don't understand the differens at all.
At the train there is a simple serving, coffe, sandwiches and of course "nate de coca", thea made on leaves de coca bush - which helps you with the altitude.
But if you are used to the altitude in Cuzco there is no problem, as you now are going down to Machu Pichu.
I was not able to do the Inca Trail myself unfortunately, since the person I was traveling with has asthma. However, I heard such wonderful things about it that I have no hesitation in recommending it. Besides, I will do it next time, and there undoubtedly will be a next time!
Machupicchu was connected with the city of Cusco and the rest of the Inca empire by amazing trails, specifically designed for the use of the Incas in a perfect harmony with the flora and fauna of the area. It has to be said that they had an absolutely wonderful knowledge of architecture and construction: throughout the whole trail you can locate some shelters surrounded by gorgeous country sites and great views.
The Inca Trail to Machupicchu is known as the most famous and tough hiking circuit all over South America, because of the conjuntion of different elements that it offers to its visitors. It's approximately 32 km long, starts at Km 88, off the railway line, and passes several archeological ruins along the route. At the same time, it crosses 9 different ecological areas which are located between 2000 and 6000 meters above sea level.
At the present time the Inca trail uses three routes:
*The first starts at km 82nd in Chilca, this is the furthest you can go by bus. It goes for 4 days and 3 nights. This is the longest and supposedly the best.
*The second starts at km 88th, to where you usually get by train and it joins the first one after a couple of kms.
*The third starts on km 104th, you must also take the train to get to this one; it is a small walk that goes for two days usually or can be done in even one day depending on the pace of the walkers.
Since the 2 day Inca Trail misses on most of the wonderful archeological sights en route to Machu Picchu, I strongly advice not to spend your money on that and instead go to the ruins by train and hike from Aguascalientes. For those with more time, however, I strongly recommend the 4 day Inca Trail trip. It's one of the best treking experiences on Earth. The scenery may not be the best and the trail may be jammed packed with people, yet nothing bits the magical sensation of walking on one of the old Inca routes.
NOTE: DO TO RECENT LAWS, YOU NOW MUST TAKE A PACKAGE TOUR TO HIKE THE 2 AND 4 DAY INCA TRAIL. What a bummer no?? Well, don't let it detter you from visiting Machu Picchu or even hiking the 4 day Inca Trail. Nothing beats the experience of hiking for almost 4 days to reach the sight! There are plenty of tour operators in Cusco so there is usually no need to book a tour in advance. The tour companies come and go in Cusco so I don't know which is the cheapest or best today. I used the services of Flamenco's Tour in Oct 2001. If you want to save money you can do two things: One, show your ISIC Student ID (fake ones are available in Plaza de Armas; you save about $25 USD); Two, buy your own return train ticket from Aguascalientes to Cusco (you save about $10 to $15 USD).
Follow the instruction to walk all over the Machu Picchu. Do not forget the time of departure to go back to Cusco is 16:00pm.
If you travel by train to or from Machu Picchu, BE PUNCTUAL if you are not in the train at the departure time they won't wait for you. (at least that almost happened to me)